Study Finds New Cause for “Runner’s High”

The sensation of euphoria brought on by endocannabinoids feels a lot like the high brought on by marijuana.     Photo: Cannabis Training University / Wiki Commons

Study Finds New Cause for “Runner’s High”

Effects of running linked with those of cannabis

New research credits molecules called endocannabinoids for causing the feeling of runner’s high, according to a study in mice published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to the Washington Post, the sensation of euphoria brought on by endocannabinoids feels a lot like the high brought on by marijuana. 

This contradicts the belief that the psychological benefits of aerobic exercise—including reduced anxiety and sensitivity to pain—are direct results of endorphins interacting with the central nervous system. 

Researchers at the Central Institute of Mental Health of the University of Heidelberg in Germany came to their conclusion after observing the endocannabinoid systems in the brains of mice. The mice observed were more easygoing and less sensitive to pain after a few laps on an exercise wheel. These effects faded after the mice were given drugs that blocked their endocannabinoid system.

“Wheel running increases endocannabinoids and reduces both anxiety and sensation of pain in mice,” the researchers said in the study’s abstract.

While the new findings suggest that exercise can produce some of the same results as marijuana, it is still unclear whether marijuana can boost the results of exercise. There is anecdotal evidence that cannabis may act as an anti-inflammatory but has negative effects for athletes, including reduced motor skills and coordination.


Rio Olympics Budget Cut 30 Percent

The cuts follow a widespread economic crisis in the country and affect the games’ infrastructure and volunteer numbers.     Photo: José Fernandes Jr. / Flickr

Rio Olympics Budget Cut 30 Percent

In response to Brazil’s economic crisis

The Rio 2016 Organizing Committee announced on Monday that it will reduce its budget for next year’s Olympics by as much as 30 percent, reports the BBC. The decision, which affects the games’ infrastructure and volunteer numbers, follows a widespread economic crisis in Brazil.

“The days of lavish spending are over,” said Mario Andrada, director of communications for Rio 2016, according to the BBC. “We need to be creative in the way we find these savings.”

While the games are privately funded, the BBC reports that any overages would be billed to the Brazilian government. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, initially budgeted at $12 billion, eventually cost host country Russia $51 billion, according to Bloomberg.

According to Andrada, the games themselves will not be affected—15,000 athletes are expected to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics combined—but the opening ceremony will be scaled back, along with a halt to contract work for video production and an increased reliance on tents instead of permanent structures. The games’ volunteer program will also be scaled back from an initial 70,000 volunteers to 60,000.

The Rio Olympics begin on August 5.


Nobukazu Kuriki

Nobukazu Kuriki was forced to abandon his Everest summit attempt again.     Photo: Rupert Taylor-Price / Flickr

Kuriki Abandons Everest Summit Attempt Again

Turns back due to weather

Japanese mountaineer Nobukazu Kuriki abandoned his latest attempt to summit Mount Everest on Thursday, according to the BBC. Kuriki is the only person to attempt to climb Everest since the April earthquake.

This was Kuriki’s fifth unsuccessful attempt to ascend the mountain, according to the BBC. He gave a final summit push on Wednesday, as Outside reported

“I’ve done my best, but I decided to descend,” Kuriki wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday at approximately 6:30 a.m. Nepal time. “In the wind getting stronger, I realized even if I kept going to the summit, I wouldn’t be able to go back to the final camp alive in the strong wind. It was really tough decision, but I started to descend at 3:35 a.m. from 8,150m. Thank you so much for all your support. I appreciate you all.”